Determined and always positive…I will never give up!

This guest post is by Julie Allen, a young woman who is diagnosed with autism and plans to attend Ross Medical Education Center to become a Veterinary Assistant. Julie is applying for the Spring 2024 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference started by me, Kerry Magro. I was nonverbal till 2.5 and diagnosed with autism at 4, and you can read more about my organization here. Autistics on Autism: Stories You Need to Hear About What Helped Them While Growing Up and Pursuing Their Dreams, our nonprofit’s new book, was released on March 29, 2022, on Amazon here for our community to enjoy featuring the stories of 100 autistic adults.

At age 5, I was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and other disabilities and conditions like hypotonia, speech issues, fine motor delays, visual tracking issues, migraines, and others. While this has made most things in life more difficult for me, I have been able to achieve all my goals this far, from riding a bike to earning a varsity letter in high school sports to receiving awards for academic excellence. This has not been easy of course, but I am determined and always positive. I will never give up. It also would not have been possible without great support from my family, friends, and the many specialists and therapists I have had the opportunity to work with during my life.

In addition to schoolwork and my extracurricular activities like sports such as high school cross country, track & field, and Special Olympics gymnastics, I have also needed about 12+ hours of therapy outside of school every week for most of my life due to having autism, ADHD, speech issues, fine and gross motor delays. This with the fact that tasks neurotypical people find easy, like basic chores and homework, take me much longer and do not leave me a lot of free time. I role model positivity, inclusivity, never giving up and giving your best. In describing some of my accomplishments in detail, I am not bragging, many others have also achieved some of these and more. I am using these examples to illustrate how I have been able to help others by facing my own challenges and never giving up or losing hope.

As a freshman in high school, I was faced with a coach who did not feel I was good enough to be part of the cross-country team because I was not as fast as most of the other runners. Although it was difficult, I did not quit and worked very hard to improve. I lasted longer than the coach, who retired after my second season, and the new coach was impressed with my work ethic, positivity, and commitment to making the team fun and inclusive for everyone. The other girls on the team were always supportive and impressed with my effort and how I would always give my best. By my senior year, I was still one of the slowest runners on the team, but I had earned my varsity letter, the scholar-athlete award, and succeeded in helping make for a positive, inclusive, fun, and hard-working team environment. Though I did not score any points for the team, my positive contributions were recognized by my teammates voting me a team captain for my senior year season.

My positivity and commitment have won over many. Although I had many needed supports through my school years, such as one-to-one paraprofessionals in some classes, I earned my diploma through mostly mainstream classes attended with neurotypical students. Not only did I pass my classes but received awards for academic excellence and scholar-athlete. Some teachers and classmates, who initially may have been annoyed by my quirks and the fact that they had to take extra time to accommodate the girl with autism, would eventually come to appreciate my positive attitude and genuine desire to learn and grow. Many of these students and teachers, who were initially annoyed or avoided me, eventually became my friends and supporters, and expressed their appreciation for my contributions to a fun learning environment in the classroom.

I plan on being a veterinary assistant because I love animals and have had many pets during my life so far. I have spent a lot of time learning about many different animals and how to care for them by reading books and watching videos and shows. Some of the animals I have learned a great deal about are cats, dogs, ferrets, birds, lizards, and many others. To prepare for this career, I worked at a veterinary clinic last summer cleaning cages and exam rooms, feeding and watering the animals, and helping the vet techs give the animals medicines and take their temperatures. This was part of a job training program through the State of Michigan, and I plan to do it again this summer. Starting in August of this year, I am enrolled in the veterinary assistant program at Ross Medical Education Center in Canton, Michigan. This scholarship would really help me pay for my training because it is expensive. Once I have been trained and working as a vet assistant, I hope to go back to school to learn how to be a veterinary technician. I think my determination and never give up attitude will enable me to reach these goals.

Follow my journey on Facebook, my Facebook Fan Page, Tiktok, Youtube & Instagram.

What happens to children with autism, when they become adults? | Kerry Magro | TEDxMorristown (

My name is Kerry Magro, a professional speaker and best-selling author who is also on the autism spectrum. I started the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference in 2011 to help students with autism receive scholarship aid to pursue post-secondary education. Help support me so I can continue to help students with autism go to college by making a tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit here.

Autistics on Autism: Stories You Need to Hear About What Helped Them While Growing Up and Pursuing Their Dreams was released on March 29, 2022 on Amazon here for our community to enjoy featuring the stories of 100 autistic adults. 100% of the proceeds from this book will go back to our nonprofit to support initiatives like our autism scholarship program. In addition, this autistic adult’s essay you just read will be featured in a future volume of this book as we plan on making this into a series of books on autistic adults.


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